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Do Fantasy novels have less readership than a Realistic Fiction novel?
As always, very insightful answer, @Craig. Also I have to agree with you on the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, I've never come across fantasy books that even remotely compare.
What does Character development actually mean?
I'm aware that technically "characterization" is the process of actually describing a character, but regarding OP's question, wouldn't the first scenario you described fall more into the characterization category?
Pitfalls of writing a main character of different gender to the author, specifically first-person perspective?
thanks a lot. Those resources will be very helpful. Thanks to everyone else as well, you all gave some amazing answers, but I'm choosing @lala's as the accepted one because it is the most resource-filled one. I've written many supporting female characters that (I think) work well. I don't have a specific female main character in mind at present, but I've toyed with the idea a few times and always dismissed it as perhaps too risky, but never knew how exactly to educate myself on the matter. All of your answers will be a great help.